Each year, KSBA releases a summary of priorities for improving education and strengthening districts. Listed below are KSBA's top legislative priorities for the 2021 Regular Session of the General Assembly. You may also view/download a printable version of these priorities.
Enacting a state budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 that adequately provides for the students of our common schools
We ask the General Assembly to:
- Increase funding allocated through Base SEEK, to restore equity across communities;
- Prioritize funding the Learning & Results Services (LARS) programs that directly serve our students such as; family resource and youth service centers (FRYSCs); instructional resources; state agency children; gifted and talented; and extended school services (ESS);
- Continue the funding already provided to implement the School Safety and Resiliency Act;
- Continue to equalize local nickel taxes levied by school boards for facility improvements;
- Increase the SEEK add-on rate for exceptional children to address the growth in this population including our children with delays caused by neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS);
- Support the HANDS program and services for our students in foster care provided by the Department for Community Based Services, to help us serve special needs among students;
- Continue to appropriate the full actuarially determined contributions to the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), and the full amount needed for school employee health insurance.
Enhancing legal liability protections provided to local school boards, districts and employees
Every dollar spent in a courtroom is a dollar not spent educating students in a classroom. We ask the General Assembly to expand the legal liability protections already afforded by state law to school boards, individual board members, districts and employees.
Balancing school-based decision making council (SBDM) and school board accountability
Our common schools belong to us all. We must improve the balance in SBDM and board decision-making roles to advance student success and accountability for the whole community. We ask the General Assembly to allow superintendents to select principals, only after SBDM consultation.
Fostering public support of our students through support for local decision-making
Public schools depend on public support, as recognized by state policy set in KRS 158.645. To enhance support and engagement in each community, we ask the General Assembly to continue to protect the role of local decision-making and accountable leadership in each unique district by the local school board.
Adopting tax reforms to increase general fund revenue and to diversify local taxes
Student support statewide requires investment from Frankfort. We ask the General Assembly to:
- Maintain a moratorium on any new tax expenditures (credits/deductions/exemptions); and sunset existing expenditures as recommended by the General Assembly’s 2018 Task Force on Tax Expenditures to fix our so-called “leaky bucket;”
- Increase state revenue in a reasonable manner that will naturally track the economy; and
- Diversify and sunset tax expenditures in the taxes locally elected school boards may levy, in line with the goals of tax reform efforts (i.e.: fairness, adequacy, competitiveness, consumption-based taxation, etc.).
“If . . . we forget the children, and, in the slightest degree, fail to appreciate the obligations of the State to provide sufficient facilities for training them to be good citizens, we will . . . receive in the great hereafter anathemas, and not ascriptions of praise; and our work, however good in other respects . . . will undoubtedly, be condemned.”
- Delegate William M. Beckner, explaining Section 183 at the Constitutional Convention on March 9, 1891